Last month the Beyond Burger reached Germany’s retailers and was reportedly sold out within hours. According to the results of a new survey conducted by the internet portal www.vegan.eu [German], Beyond Burger and comparable products could fundamentally change the eating behaviour of the public in general.
The main result of the survey is that the Beyond Burger is very popular among meat eaters, vegans and vegetarians alike. The survey shows that the Beyond Burger is seen by meat eaters as a chance to reduce their meat consumption or to do completely away with meat, reports psychologist Guido F. Gebauer, who conducted the survey.
The appeal of the Beyond Burger to meat-eating consumers is so high that a profound change in the nutritional behaviour of society as a whole towards meat reduction and plant-based nutrition is possible with the increasing availability and variety of modern meat substitutes.
1466 vegans, 1428 meat eaters, 830 vegetarians and 217 pescatarians (fish, no other meat) took part in the survey. The group of the meat eaters was divided thereby into the subgroups of low consumption (eat meat once a week at most), medium consumption (two to three times in the week), high consumption (four to six times in the week) and very high consumption (daily).
Results of the survey in detail
Awareness of the Beyond Burger
Immediately after its market launch in Germany, the Beyond Burger achieved a very high level of awareness, which goes far beyond the vegan or vegetarian circle:
Already 95% of vegans, 82% of vegetarians, 73% of pescetarians, 63% of meat eaters with low consumption, 64% of meat eaters with medium consumption, 59% of meat eaters with high consumption and 52% of meat eaters with very high consumption had heard of the Beyond Burger.
Evaluation of the Beyond Burger
The results of the survey show that an overwhelming majority of vegans, vegetarians and pescetarians rated Beyond Burger positively and very rarely rated it negatively. But also among the meat eaters with low and medium consumption, a large to clear majority expressed positive attitudes towards Beyond Burger.
For meat eaters with high consumption, support and rejection balanced each other out. Only with meat eaters with very high consumption did the rejection predominate, whereby here, too, depending on the question, every fourth to fifth respondent took a positive attitude towards Beyond Burger.
The ratings in detail
“Great thing”: 93% of vegans, 90% of vegetarians and 89% of pescetarians agreed with this assessment. 83% of meat eaters with low consumption, 71% of meat eaters with medium consumption, 42% of meat eaters with high consumption and 27% of meat eaters also agreed with this assessment.
“More such products were desired”: 93% of vegans, 92% of vegetarians, 92% of pescetarians, 82% of meat eaters with low consumption, 72% of meat eaters with medium consumption, 42% of meat eaters with high consumption and 21% of meat eaters with very high consumption were of this opinion.
“All just hype”: 4% of vegans, 7% of vegetarians, 9% of pescetarians, 14% of meat eaters with low consumption, 24% of meat eaters with medium consumption, 55% of meat eaters with high consumption and 72% of meat eaters with very high consumption voted for this statement.
“Is unnatural”: this view was held by 5% of vegans, 9% of vegetarians, 10% of pescetarians, 17% of meat eaters with low consumption, 26% of meat eaters with medium consumption, 52% of meat eaters with high consumption and 69% of meat eaters with very high consumption.
What effects are expected on the environment, animals and health?
Almost all vegans, vegetarians and pescetarians reported positive effects of Beyond Burger on the environment and animals in the survey. But also a large majority of meat eaters with low and medium consumption saw the Beyond Burger as an instrument for more environmental protection and animal welfare. Even about one-third of the high-consumption meat eaters agreed with this assessment. Only among meat eaters with very high consumption did these values fall sharply.
The evaluation of the health effects was more critical in all groups. Modern meat substitutes, such as the Beyond Burger, are therefore not seen per se as a health product.
According to Gebauer, however, the Beyond Burger is also intended for circles that otherwise consume fast food, so that the Beyond Burger could be a comparatively healthier alternative for these people.
The ratings in detail
“Save animals”: this was the opinion of 97% of vegans, 94% of vegetarians, 92% of pescetarians, 82% of meat eaters with low consumption, 67% of meat eaters with medium consumption, 46% of meat eaters with high consumption and 25% of meat eaters with high consumption.
“Protects the environment”: 89% of vegans, 81% of vegetarians, 74% of vegetarians, 64% of low-consumption meat eaters, 53% of medium-consumption meat eaters and 31% of high-consumption meat eaters said this. Only 19% of meat eaters with very high consumption confirmed this statement.
“Good for health”: 41 % of vegans, 49 % of vegetarians, 50 % of perscetarians, 38 % of meat eaters with low consumption, 28 % of meat eaters with medium consumption, 12 % of meat eaters with high consumption and 7 % of meat eaters with very high consumption were of this opinion.
Will Beyond Burger change eating habits?
A narrow majority of low-consumption meat eaters, but also almost half of medium-consumption meat eaters, expect Beyond Burger and similar products to help them avoid meat. Even among high-consumption meat eaters, one in six respondents expected the Beyond Burger and comparable products to help them avoid meat.
According to Gebauer, these results indicate a widespread need among meat eaters to give up meat and a willingness among many meat eaters to switch to herbal alternatives.
According to Gebauer, the results of the survey show that the Beyond Burger is popular with all nutritional groups as a pioneer in modern meat replacement. While almost all vegans and vegetarians are taken with Beyond Burger, it is also very popular among meat eaters with low and medium consumption. These so-called flexitarian, which according to investigations approx. 40% of the population constituted, offer the Beyond Burger and comparable products a simple way to continue the pursued way and finally completely do without meat.
It is also noteworthy, however, that the Beyond Burger is also well received by every third participant with high meat consumption and that every sixth of them wants to reduce their own meat consumption with its help. Only with the participants with very high consumption (daily) resisted the product strongly.
According to Gebauer, the survey results indicate that modern meat substitutes – unlike traditional vegan products – could apparently also inspire meat eaters.
This opens up the possibility of a change in nutritional behaviour in society as a whole. With declining sales, the profitability of the very resource-intensive meat production could be lost, which could further accelerate the switch to plant-based products.
Products such as the Beyond Burger were given a boost by scientific research findings that demonstrated the devastating effects of meat production on the environment and climate. Accordingly, even a large majority of meat eaters with low and medium meat consumption are convinced that Beyond Burger is a better alternative for the environment. This conviction also increases the likelihood that consumers will increasingly eat products such as Beyond Burger instead of meat.
Detailed information on the sample and many other results can be found at vegan.eu.